A lot of what I have learned in this course was something I knew was subconsciously true: that there is a connection between Black and Irish culture. I’ve gotten plenty of looks for minoring in Irish language because I’m bi-racial, but this class fortified my reasonings for doing that minor. Each of my posts have talked about this connection in various forms. Whether it was through soul music, movies, or traveling, I attempted to discover the explicit and minute ways these groups have interacted with each other. Writing these blog posts forced me to look deeper into the assigned works. Although I sometimes found it repetitive, it really helped me notice the theme for the week. I also really enjoyed looking at other people’s blog posts. Other classmates picked up on things I did not, which would make me understand the works more completely.
I think the most impactful work I read this semester was Daniel O’Connell and the Committee of the Repeal of the Irish Association. I have never considered the Irish as being something other than white, and this was one of the first instances I saw such a separation. He states “It was not in Ireland you learned this cruelty” (1), chastising them for abandoning their values for those of the US. This chastisement was reflected in other works such as Moon and the Mars and The Octoroon. Irish-Americans were turning on their neighbors (regardless of race) to gain more power and become more “white”. My blog posts reflect on how Irish-Americans have bonded with and betrayed Black people. The works we’ve read and watched demonstrated there has been a transatlantic conversation for centuries. Shared struggles are not limited to one race. Shared triumphs are also not limited to one race. Black and Irish people have been subtly rekindling the bond that they once shared. Even though this connection may not be as explicit as others, it is time that we realize there exists a deep bond between the groups that is desperately trying to resurface in society.